A Twin Pines Thanksgiving – 2016

The Twin Pines Family of Companies is your family-owned, one-stop-shop for all indoor and outdoor home improvement needs. So, of course, we want to cover just as much ground for the biggest family holiday of the year! Check back with Twin Pines all this week for produce-featured Thanksgiving recipes, floral arrangements, centerpieces, and more!

Thanksgiving dinner. Roasted turkey with pumpkins and sunflowers

We at Twin Pines are big fans of flowers, especially ones that can highlight the beauty of a certain season, event, or holiday. During Thanksgiving 2015, we gave our readers step-by-step instructions on how to construct the perfect Thanksgiving centerpiece, and this year we want to keep the tradition of sharing beautifully crafted or unique flower arrangements and centerpieces going.

If you’re looking for the perfect centerpiece for Thursday’s festivities, you still have time! Follow these popular trends from Twin Pines fans:

Crafty Containers-

One of the most important things we’ve learned about crafting the perfect centerpiece, is to put just as much focus on what the flowers and decorative items are presented in as you put on these items themselves.

2016 Trends Include:

Rustic Options-crates, burlap covered vases, watering cans, buckets, and more! Browse through some of our favorites in the contributed lineup below:

(Contributed By: waterwalkereventslovelly_flowers, michellefloralanddesign,  meredith_unoriginalmomvioletscreativefleurtacious_designssundaycena,  heavenlyhandspartycreations)

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Being Great

Blog Post Contributed by Andy Hopkins, Co-Owner of Twin Pines Family of Companies

On a very rainy Friday Boston night, I went to Fenway for the final home stand of the year against Toronto.

The Red Sox have already clinched the playoffs, but the mood was different than the relaxed night that usually accompanies that position.

It was the first night of a tribute weekend to David Ortiz – famous # 34 – who for years has been part of the success of the Red Sox.

On this night, he did what he has done so many times; he was great, hitting the winning 2 run home run, a line drive shot to right field. This was his 38th of the season.

When most players are battling with injuries and the decline of statistics as the body tells them their career is ending, David defies logic and is having another fantastic season.

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David Ortiz; Photo Credit: Andy Hopkins

Why?  Because of his love for the game and his dedication to being great every day. Watching his warm up before hitting, you could see there was an intensity like it was his first opportunity to impress us.

I have always felt that to be great at something you need to love it – 100% completely. David shows us that if you have this love, you can continue to be great against all odds.

I still remember game 4 of one memorable series, sitting in right field and hearing that no team had ever come back from 3 games down. No one told David Ortiz. He helped carry the Red Sox to a win and one of the greatest turnarounds in Major League playoffs.

That night, everyone in Boston saw his love of the game and of the team. It continued for over a decade.

So everyone here at Twin Pines would like to send out a salute to one of Boston’s greatest baseball players. We can only hope to be as passionate and great at what we do as David has been for the Red Sox. We wish David and his family the best after baseball.  Thank you for all the great memories!

Creative Flower Displays For Fall

Whether we want to admit it yet or not, fall is on its way; The air is getting crisper, the leaves are starting to turn, and the sky is getting dark at 7:00pm. While that might mean saying goodbye to full days spent in your yard enjoying the outdoors, it doesn’t mean you should stop finding new ways to make your landscape unique.

Last year, we shared our expert guide to Fall Flowers (Part I. and Part II.), which outlined some of the most vibrant and season-appropriate flowers to feature in autumn. This year, we want to show you some exciting and innovative ways to arrange and display them outside your home!Petunia Flowers

One of the funnest ways we’ve come across of displaying fall flowers, is actually within the hollowed out trunks of old trees. The easiest way to create this unique arrangement is to locate a broken tree with a very thick trunk that is already living in your yard and prep it for the flowers. Hire a qualified tree specialist (like those at Twin Pines) to remove any excess branches or pieces of the tree that crowd the broken trunk and level out the surface. The specialist should also carve out the hole in the center of the trunk which the flowers will grow in.

Next, simply use the hole in the trunk as a flower pot! Spread nutrient-rich soil within it, plant the flowers, and watch them grow in this natural display!

climbing-hydrandra-creative-solution-to-hide-old-lamp-post-urell-1Another great way to highlight the fall florals in your yard is around a lamp post. The expert Landscape Design team at Twin Pines has years of experience with shrubs like these, which can grow upwards and out when cared for correctly. This tip is ideal if you happen to have outdated or mismatching posts; instead of investing in a full light post remodel, use pretty plants to spice up the look!

Lamp posts and tree trunks aren’t the only items in your yard that can act as a useful base for flower displays. Old wheelbarrows make great containers for featuring plants and Simply Swissflowers. While some feel that the more vintage the wheelbarrow the better, we’ve found that its all based in style. Wooden carts like the one featured in the photo here make for a more rustic look, where a more contemporary, painted one could give a modern-feel. Either way, this simple and pretty display choice can act as a great focal point for your landscape!

Another common household item often utilized in flower displays is a ladder. Trends lately have shown wooden ladders being used more as shelves than actual steps in homes across the country. Used as both an indoor or outdoor display case, each rung of the later can be transformed Harvest timeinto a multi-level shelving unit, maximizing display opportunities! What’s more, because ladders comes in a variety of colors and finishes, the ladder can be customized to compliment the look of your unique home!

Overall, the best advice the experts at Twin Pines can give for making your flower displays stand out this fall, is to add a little creativity into the mix! Combine types of flowers, mix and match colors, and find a fun and innovative way to arrange them! These simple steps will take your designs to the next level.

Keep mind, you don’t have to stick to these few ideas either; there are a plethora of options out there for you to play with. Switch out a flower pot for an old painted watering can or use an old barrel or basket to grow your plants in; try something new and innovative to help your landscape stand out!

Whatever display option you chose, make sure you have some fun with it! Your landscape is a great way to show off your personality, and adding statement pieces like these are a simple and fun way to do that! And if you need a little help along the way, feel free to reach out to our experts at Twin Pines! We would be happy to provide you with a consultation on your landscape this fall, and help make sure it reaches all of its potential. Give us a call today at (508) 358-4231, or email us at sales@twinpines.biz!

A Letter From Your Plants On Fourth of July Weekend

Dear Family,

Now, we’re not the type to complain, but there’s a problem we’ve been noticing about your “summer habits” that we think we need to address. It’s about… Fourth of July weekend, and the fun you tend to have without really giving your plants a second thought.

We get it, it’s a full weekend to celebrate summer! There are cookouts, and fireworks, and late-night partying; it’s no wonder you guys are off having a great time. Believe us, if we weren’t rooted to the spot, we’d leaf in a heartbeat and join the fun! But sadly we cannot. We are stuck standing idly by while you and your guests have a good time, right under our branches.

But it doesn’t have to be like this! There are lots of ways to help send the party our way this Fourth of July, and we’ve decided to let you in on the secret:

  1. It’s a holiday weekend; we want to drink heavily right alongside you – Deep, waterings make much more of an impact than short, infrequent ones. It may be time consuming, but much like the clingy girl at the party, the longer you spend with us, the happier we’ll be.
  2. We want to look good for your friends – Cutting back stray twigs, and picking up broken branches, fallen leaves, or dead flower buds before guests arrive can make our look really pop.
  3.  Use that smartphone for more than just Facebook –  We know you’ll spend half your time at a social gathering on your phone anyways, so why not take a moment to look up the weekend’s weather forecast for us? That way you’ll know what days you need to pay more attention, and what days you can give us some space to branch out.
  4. You wouldn’t want someone wasting your drinks, so don’t waste ours – The government has been rolling around town looking for people who are running their irrigation at the wrong hours. Brush up on your town’s water restrictions so you don’t have a party foul!
  5. We love to party – Did you know there are types of flowers that bloom at every part of the year? Feel free to bring in some neighbors to liven up this place!

And if you happen to be going away for Fourth of July weekend, it probably wouldn’t hurt to have someone check in on us every once and a while, just to make sure we’re behaving ourselves! A local landscaping company like Twin Pines will be around to pop in and care for us while you’re off having a good time. Don’t forget to give them a call and set up a watering schedule if you haven’t already!

Anyways, sorry for the long letter. We have a lot of time to think out here in the hot sun, and the ideas tend to just keep growing. If you can work to keep any of these ideas in mind this weekend, we’d appreciate it!

Happy Fourth!

-Your Plants

P.S. Oh, by the way, we drink nothing but water, in case that wasn’t clear. Ice, cold water. Join us for a drink sometime!

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Twin Pines is on Thumbtack!

Much like with Home Advisor, Twin Pines Family of Companies is split into two profiles on Thumbtack to properly represent our licensed divisions, and the services we provide! Please feel free to browse through our Profiles by clicking on the Company Names below:

Twin Pines Landscaping

FitzCo Construction & Electric

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Twin Pines is on Home Advisor!

Twin Pines Family of Companies includes an array of home improvement professionals with various licenses and qualifications that set us apart from our competitors. In order to properly represent ourselves and the employees that hold the Twin Pines name, we have created three separate Home Advisor accounts to reflect three of our most diverse divisions. Feel free to check out the Company Profiles through Home Advisor by clicking on the names below:

FitzCo Construction & Electric

Twin Pines Landscaping

 R&M Plumbing and Heating

Twin Pines’ Customer Satisfaction Goals

Twin Pines has always been dedicated to providing our customers with a positive experience. We find that feedback of any kind, whether it is positive or negative, can help influence changes and improvements within the company.

For that reason, Twin Pines has created a simple survey that we send to our customers after we finish working on their property. The survey, while short, raises the most important question for our customers to answer: How Likely Are You To Recommend Twin Pines?  This one question provides us with the kind of feedback we need to reflect on where we are with our customers, and in turn, learn more about how we can do better.

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The Dangers of Tree Removal: Why It’s Important To Leave It To Professionals

All the unpredictable weather of the last few weeks has left many homeowners with some cleanup to do around their properties. One of the most significant aspects of this cleanup has been tree removal. Violent winds, heavy snow, and pounding rain are all known to cause trees to snap, branches to break off, and to leave, in short, less than safe conditions for people to live or work in. Tree Removal1

Yet, as tempting as it may be for homeowners to handle tree work themselves, it’s important that Tree Removal Professionals are called in to handle this type of cleanup.

Between the vital knowledge of tree physics and biology, experience with dangerous tools, and the understanding of advanced cutting techniques, these Tree Removal Professionals are the only people equipped to properly handle this difficult and potentially life-threatening work.

One of the most dangerous aspects of tree removal, is the power tools needed to remove the trees themselves. Chainsaws, wood chippers, and other power or hand tools are all incredibly dangerous to use, especially for those who are untrained. Tree Removal Experts have extensive training and experience with these tools, which makes them much more qualified to utilize them in a high-stakes situation like this.

The location of the trees in question also makes removal a dangerous task. If the tree were to be located near power lines, for example, workers would need to take extra precautions. Even Tree Removal Experts must act as if all power lines are live when working near or around them, as any accidental touch by a tool, tree, or person has the potential to result in electrocution.

Another dangerous aspect of tree removal is the fact that gravity is completely unpredictable. If a homeowner were take the necessary precautions and attempt to remove the tree themselves, there is no way of guaranteeing that the tree will fall where they want it to. Tree Work_2When an unqualified person attempts to handle the removal of trees without the help of an expert, it can result in damage to homes, vehicles, other trees and, most significantly, the people themselves. There are 200 tree-related fatal injuries on average per year in America, according to the US
Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is not worth being one of them.

Professional Tree Removers have not only extensive training in the physics of tree removal (which works to prevent such injuries or damages), but also in the proper safety equipment necessary to complete this kind of work. Professionals are required by law to be covered from head to toe in protective gear prior to handling any kind of tree removal work. The OSHA standards require Tree Removal Professionals to wear helmets/face shields, gloves, chainsaw-protective clothing, goggles or safety glasses, earmuffs or plugs, and proper work shoes when completing this work.

If you are looking to have trees removed from your property, please take the necessary precautions. Hire a Tree Removal Expert to handle the work for you, and avoid the life-threatening risks of attempting to do a job you may not be prepared to do.

Twin Pines Landscaping offers Tree Removal Services from a team of highly qualified and licensed specialists. You can also contract these specialists for a tree consultation, in which they can come out to your property and evaluate your trees for any potential dangers or specific cutting instructions. For more information on these services from Twin Pines, you can reach out to our office at (508) 358-4231. Other Tree Removal Specialists can be found by a simple Google Search for the type of work and your town or district. However you choose to contract this work, remember that when it comes to trees, safety should be the number one concern.

Protecting Your Landscape From Snow

You put a lot of time and effort into making your landscape and home look great. Don’t let a snow storm ruin all your hard work! Follow Twin Pines’ expert tips for protecting your landscape from snow, and keep your yard looking great even after heavy snowfall!

protecting-plants-shrubs

Because plants and shrubs are often the focal points of your yard, its important to take the steps to cover and protect them when snow is in the forecast. There are a couple of noteworthy risks your plants face during this season.

Winter Burn

Winter burn is known as the damage to living plants that occurs during extreme winter snow, frost, and ice. Caused by a combination of winter sunlight and depleted moisture in the soil, this condition is a very poor one for plants to live in.

The best way for you to protect your plants, shrubs, and even more delicate trees from Winter Frost, is to wrap them up in burlap. This fabric protects while also allowing air to circulate to the plant without trapping heat. Whether you choose to engulf the shrub in a burlap bag, or literally wrap it in a sheet of burlap fabric, having this protective layer around the plant is the best way to keep it safe and thriving in winter weather.

Winterized Tree Wrapped In Burlap

How To Wrap Your Plants In Burlap:

  1. Insert 3-4 wooden stakes in the ground around the base of the plant. Note: Leave about and inch or two between the stake and the plant itself.
  2. Lay the layer of burlap over the stakes.
  3. Staple the material to the stakes. Note: Ensure that the burlap does not touch the plants, for if the fabric becomes wet and freezes, the plant can be damaged.

The most important detail to remember when following these steps, is to leave space between the stake and the plant itself. Burlap that touches the foliage can become wet and freeze, which will damage the plant underneath.

Snow Pile-Ups

Too much heavy snow piling up and resting on top of a living plant can crush it structurally, bending or even snapping branches and thin trunks. While snow mostly impacts the structure of plants and shrubs, some trees can be affected by this condition, as well, including many specimen and ornamental trees.

To prevent this issue, the best option is to create or purchase a wooden structure that can be placed above the plants for protection. Whether you go all-out with what is basically a miniature-hut over the plant, or go with a basic structure made of a few pieces of leaning wood held in place by a wooden pole, the extra effort will help protect your plants throughout the season.

Bring Potted Plants/Planters Indoors

Taking the time to transition your potted plants and planters from outside to inside before a storm will ensure they stay alive and healthy. While some species may be able to handle harsher weather if left to their own devises outdoors, leaving them vulnerable to winter conditions is never the best choice. Instead move these plants to a stable location inside with plenty of sunlight to ensure they remain alive and well until the snow eases and they can return to their original locations.

snow-plow-preparation

Plowing during a snowstorm is one of the most difficult tasks there is. Large flakes and powerful winds can cause very low visibility, and slick surfaces can create difficult driving conditions. Make the process a little easier on your snow plow driver by following through with these simple, pre-storm tasks!

Staking Your Driveway

The process of inserting stakes along the edges of your driveway may seem tedious, but it is actually vital preparation for your snow plow driver. These stakes provide your driver with an idea of where the edges of your driveway end and your grass or other turf begins. While you may think this would be easy to see, when there is already a couple of inches of snow on the ground, these markers are often the driver’s only guide.

Many snow removal companies will offer to stake your driveway for you pre-snow season, but if you find yourself mid-winter and still without stakes, it is important to take this responsibility into your own hands.

The experts at Twin Pines suggest you choose between wood or plastic stakes, for they not only seem to last longer in harsh conditions, but also do not damage trucks if they are accidentally run over mid-storm. In terms of distance between the edge of the driveway and the stakes you will place, consult your snow plow driver for their preference. Some may suggest you place the stakes one to two inches from the edge of the pavement, while others may prefer as far as a foot back in order to leave room for snow piles during plowing.

Removing Obstacles In Your Driveway

While it may seem like an obvious suggestion, many homeowners often don’t think about what may be sitting in their driveway that could become an obstacle for snow plow drivers during a storm.

Toys, shovels, or other random objects that may have made their way into your driveway during day-to-day life need to be removed before a big storm. Once the snow blankets the pavement, your snow plow driver may not be able to spot a stray basketball or ice pick beneath the powder. This could result in not only damage to your item, but damage to the plow itself it the item ends up going through the mechanism.

Another way to prep your driveway for your snow plow driver is to move all cars out of the way. This may seem like an House and Driveway Covered with Fresh Snowinconvenient task to think about when all you want to do is stay inside, but having a driveway clear of cars is the only way to allow plow drivers to do their job correctly.

A car sitting in the driveway, means that the plow driver needs to maneuver around it during a storm, which can be incredibly difficult especially in heavy snowfall, and can result in completely missed patches. Cars in the driveway can also often restrict where the driver pushes the excess snow.

To ensure the best results from your snow removal expert, be sure to move your car inside a garage, onto the street (if safe to do so) or, at the very least, right up against the edge of the house during a storm.

stock-up-on-materials

For those New Englanders who remember the Blizzard of 2015, (where a coveted bag of ice melt was being sold for as much as some electronic devices), it will come at no surprise that some of the best advice for impending snow is to stock up on the items you will need to during the storm.

A basic list of items that you will need for maintaining your yard/landscape during a storm include:

  • At least one snow shovel with a metal edge (to help break apart icy snow)
  • Bags of ice melt
  • A snow scraper to clean off your car
  • Sand for your driveway/walkway (Or kitty litter, for a more environmentally-friendly option)
  • Roof rake (used to prevent ice dams from snow piled up on your roof)

Stocking up on these items now, before the snow hits, will ensure that you are prepared and ready for whatever the snow brings.

snow-removal-plan-in-place

Whether you intend to handle your snow removal yourself (with a snow blower/plow) or hire a company to handle it for you, its important that you have that plan in place far before the storm hits.

If you will be dealing with snow removal on your own, ensure that your snow blower is prepped and ready to work (ie. that it is running correctly, that you have extra gas, etc.). For those who plan to hand over their snow removal practices to a professional company, be sure you reach out and get on their routes before the storm hits and their drivers become booked.


For more snow removal advice (or to inquire about snow removal services from Twin Pines), visit our Contact Us page on our website and submit a question/request!

 

Twin Pines Expands Services Offered

twin-pines-family-of-companiesFor decades, Twin Pines Landscaping has worked to make a name for ourselves as a quality landscaping and maintenance professional in the MetroWest MA area. During that time, our company has offered our customers an array of services for all four seasons, including landscape design & maintenance, tree work, masonry, cleanups, irrigation services, and even snow removal.

Now, 25 years after Twin Pines first started in the landscaping business, we have teamed up with FitzCo Construction & Electric in order to offer an array of services in home improvement that expand far past our previous list!

To get a better idea of the new services encompassed in Twin Pines and FitzCo,  please take a moment to read through the list below!

Construction Services: Whether you’re looking to have a basic furniture piece constructed, or an entire addition

Wall going up

added onto your home, Twin Pines/FitzCo’s construction team can handle the job! Properly licensed and with years of experience under their belt, this team is equipped to tackled projects of all sizes and calibers. This division also covers home remodeling, including kitchen, bathroom, deck, and much more!

Handyman Services:

For homeowners looking to have projects completed around their house, but with little time to complete them themselves, our new handyman service is the perfect solution! We can handle anything, from quick appliance installation, to floor board replacements, to door/window installation, our team will take the time to do any odd handyman job around the house, keeping it looking spic and span for you to enjoy!

Electrical Services:

Our team of electricians are fully licensed and insured to complete any electrical job, big or small. The team has recently completed lighting fixture installation jobs, electrical outlet repairs, re-wiring of lighting fixtures, and even the wiring of an entire room, among many more! They also work closely with our construction team to wire newly renovated rooms or additions for our customers!

Fencing Services:

While Twin Pines often dabbled in fence-work in years past, we now have an entire team dedicated to not only fence repair and installation, but design as well! Whatever variation of material, height, or look you’re seeking in a fence, Twin Pines and FitzCo have the tools and experience to help you create it!

Masonry and Stonework:dscf0810

Twin Pines has always had a solid team of masons that have worked to create some beautiful pieces in the past. Now that we have expanded and added on the skills and expertise of FitzCo’s masons, as well, these services have only expanded. Not only can we create water features, stone walls, and other outdoor fixtures, we can also handle walkways, foundation repairs, and more!

Painting Services:

While Twin Pines has been dabbling in painting projects for quite some time, the addition of FitzCo’s team of expert painters to our roster has greatly increased our services in the area. Our teams specialize in both exterior and interior painting jobs, for both commercial and residential properties!

Powerwashing:

This service includes a thorough cleaning of walls, decks, driveways and more by Twin Pines and FitzCo!

Tiling and Flooring:

Looking to have your wood floor installed, tiles put down, or even bricks laid in your repair, building and home concept - close up of male hands intalentryway? Look no further than Twin Pines and FitzCo’s team of flooring experts, who have been trained to work with many different materials in a variety of different sized and shaped spaces.

Junk Removal

Not surprisingly, homeowners often find themselves with extra items around the home that they’re looking to have removed. Whether it’s a broken or old appliance, a dilapidated shed, or even just some scrap metal or wood, hiring our team to come and remove it for you saves you a lot of time and hassle!


Interested in contracting work with Twin Pines and FitzCo? Reach out to us today! We provide free, no obligation estimates on all projects other than Electrical–please inquire for specific prices–and would be happy to schedule a time to meet with you and discuss any upcoming project! We look forward to becoming your one-stop-shop for indoor and outdoor home improvement services!